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Holidays reduced workload for Gays Mills committees
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In perhaps one of it’s shortest meetings in quite some time, the Standing Committees of the Village of Gays Mills Board met and concluded in 40 minutes on the evening of Jan. 2.

The meeting appeared to have been abbreviated by both absences of some village trustees and a lack of business occurring during the holidays.

The personnel committee lacked a quorum as Trustees Earl Winsor and Aaron Fortney were absent. Also, CouleeCap’s Kahya Fox of was unable to attend so questions from the finance committee could not be addressed.

The Village of Gays Mills Finance Committee (Craig Anderson, Kevin Murray, and Geraldine Smith) approved recommending the payment of regular bills to the board. They also approved recommending payment of relocation expenses to Jacaranda Consulting with reimbursement to the village to be made through a state funds drawdown. Jacaranda is a consulting firm owned by Gays Mills Recovery Coordinator Julia Henley. Previously, her consulting work for the village was done by a firm called Trillium.

The Viallge of Gays Mils Public Works, Public Safety, and Utilities Committee (Kevin Murray, Earl Winsor, and Al Zegiel) faced the lengthiest of agendas, beginning by hearing from John Gibbs and Ron Sanders in follow-up to a letter they sent in October. The two men have altered their charcoal making operation to address concerns raised by the village and to come into compliance with a local ordinance. Four-foot stacks had been added to the burning barrels to reduce smoke produced by the operation. The operation had also been moved further north of town in to the nearby fields owned by Dr. Richard Dudgeon.

“There have been no more complaints,” noted Gays Mills Village President Craig Anderson. “The committee decided in October to allow you to make changes and try again, then review to make sure it’s working.”

“Put it in a building and all the rules change and your okay,” suggested trustee Harry Heisz. “If you burn in a barrel, it’s open burning, even with a lid.”

Gibbs and Sanders were instructed to work with Jim Chellevold, the Gays Mills Director of Public Works and Fire Warden to make sure there were no further issues.

Heisz met with the tenants of the Gays Mills Mercantile Center to address concerns over billing for heating and cooling costs. He went through all the leases and would present plan that included corrected billing percentages to the board.

Craig Anderson was recommended to be appointed as the designee to work with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department to negotiate police coverage for the village.

The meeting concluded with the Village of Gays Mills Public Property & Cemetery Committee (Aaron Fortney, Harry Heisz, and Al Zegiel).

The village received an apology from contractors Weiser Brothers for the unfinished caulking in the Mercantile Center. The family bathroom remained uncaulked from a project begun in September.

Craig Anderson was informed by a representative of the state that he was ineligible to bid on village properties for purchase and relocation outside of the floodplain because of his status as village president. The call for bids to remove or teardown the garage at 111 State Highway 171 would need to be re-advertised.

Heisz proposed the village consider motion sensors or light switches for the hallway lights in the Mercantile Center. He will seek more information.

All committee members present expressed appreciation for the handling of the Christmas Day water main break in Main Street by Jim Chellevold and his crew.

The committees meet again on Monday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m.